Presentation on theme: "Remilitarisation of the Rhineland 1925:Freely negotiated Locarno Pact - Germany accepted Western borders. February 1934:Defence Review Committee identified."— Presentation transcript:
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland 1925:Freely negotiated Locarno Pact - Germany accepted Western borders. February 1934:Defence Review Committee identified Germany as “the ultimate potential enemy”. 9th March 1935:Goring reveals the existence of the air force. 16th March 1935:Hitler revealed the intention to reintroduce conscription. 14th April 1935:Stresa Front formed to put pressure on Germany [under pressure by Italian action in Abyssinia] 18 th June 1935:Anglo-German Naval Agreement [puts pressure in Stresa Front] The story so far...
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland The Remilitarisation of the Rhineland 7 th March 1936
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland The Versailles Context Article 42 of Versailles Treaty states: “Germany is forbidden to maintain or construct any fortifications on the left bank of the Rhine…”
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland Key Dates 14th January 1935:British Cabinet declared that the Rhineland was not “a vital British interest”. 15th January 1936:French military attaché in Berlin “I have no doubts that the demilitarised zone will be reoccupied, it is the date that is uncertain.” February 27th 1936:Franco-Soviet Mutual Assistance Pact ratified passed by the French parliament. [Angered Britain. Germany feared encirclement.] 7th March 1936:Hitler declared the “restoration of German sovereignty in the demilitarised zone”.
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland Hitler, against the advice of his military chiefs ordered a total force of 36,500, including military police to remilitarise the Rhineland. Claimed to be provoked by the Franco-Soviet Pact. Knew the British and French were heavily involved with Abyssinian dispute so the League and Locarno signatories would be unlikely to act upon the move. Hitler’s gamble
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland Took place on a Saturday. Many British MPs and French Deputies were at home. By Monday morning it would be difficult to reverse. Believed the British would be placated by promises to discuss rejoining the League of Nations and negotiating new demilitarised zones.
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland No tanks or offensive weapons such as bomber planes were used to limit the French claims of treaty violation. However, the French military exaggerated the numbers to 295,000 so their Government would not take action.
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland What did Hitler and the Nazis gain from the remilitarisation?
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland Hitler and the Nazis gained prestige. The Western border was secured. It could now be fortified. Hitler personally had taken a gamble against advice from his Generals and he had been correct. His personal standing was enhanced in Germany. German civilians salute German forces crossing the Rhine River at Mainz.
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland “The 48 hours after the march into the Rhineland were the most nerve-racking in my life. If the French had then marched into the Rhineland we would have had to withdraw with our tails between our legs, for the military resources at our disposal would have been wholly inadequate for even a moderate resistance.” German civilians salute German forces crossing the Rhine River at Mainz.
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland Why did the British Government appease Germany?
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland Many in the British Government believed that the action of the Nazis was reasonable. Hitler had been unnecessarily provoked by French. The Times noted “a chance to rebuild” relations with Hitler and Germany.
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland Many in the British Government believed that Hitler could be trusted. They were placated by Nazi plans to renegotiate peace pacts.
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland Britain was military unprepared: In 1936,Chamberlain as Chancellor of the Exchequer gave the RAF £59 million instead of £97 million asked for. ‘Cheap’ fighters built instead of bombers.
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland British commitments were too widespread to risk war.There was a feeling that the leaders and public of Empire nations would not support war. The British felt that they had no reliable allies. The aim of the British was to prevent French retaliation.
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland Duff Cooper, Secretary of State for War [Nov 1935 to May 1937] commented on British public opinion to the German Ambassador: “British people…would not resort to arms…” Said a taxi driver to Anthony Eden, Foreign Secretary from 1935 to 1938: “I suppose Jerry can do what he likes in his own backyard…” Duff Cooper
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland Haile Selassie appeals to the League for help to end Italian aggression in Abyssinia The League of Nations was viewed as weak: The League of Nations was concerned with the situation in Abyssinia where the Italians were waging an aggressive war. Germany had NOT gone to war. Germany was no longer in the League of Nations so not bound by its covenant.
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland David Lloyd George, former British Prime Minister commented on the fear of communism, saying in 1934 that Britain should: “…look to Germany as a bulwark against Communism.”
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland Stanley Baldwin, British Prime Minister commented on the weak British economy: “England is not in a state to go to war,”
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland And of the fear of war, Baldwin said: “I do not have the right to commit England…” and military action would “…be out of proportion to what Germany had done”.
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland Robert Boothby Aberdeenshire MP: “…the greatest assurances” are given and “when everyone is feeling happy and nobody is looking, they pounce.” Criticisms of Government Policy Robert Boothby
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland Anthony Eden, 1962: “There is little doubt, Hitler should have been called to order…but nobody was prepared to do it.” Remember, Eden was Foreign Secretary in 1936. Criticisms of Government Policy Anthony Eden
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland How useful is the following source for investigating attitudes towards the remilitarisation of the Rhineland, March 1936?
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland "The Watch on the Rhine," by Jerry Doyle The Philadelphia Record March 10, 1936 Think about the usefulness of this source in terms of: Origin Possible Purpose Context of the source Content Balance Origin Published 3 days after, Tuesday, immediate response. Jerry Doyle, cartoonist, American but may be based in Europe. Fears growth of Nazism. US is isolationist. Newspaper of large, but only one US city, wide readership
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland "The Watch on the Rhine," by Jerry Doyle The Philadelphia Record March 10, 1936 Possible Purpose To inform and influence the readership about events in Europe. To highlight the threat of Nazi Germany. To show Americans how Treaties are being violated. To influence US political leaders to take more of a role in world politics.
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland "The Watch on the Rhine," by Jerry Doyle The Philadelphia Record March 10, 1936 Content Remilitarisation highlighted by marching soldiers. Marching over Versailles Treaty and Locarno - showing defiance. Offensive weapons - tanks - shown in background.
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland "The Watch on the Rhine," by Jerry Doyle The Philadelphia Record March 10, 1936 Context Marching soldiers but only 36,500 but exaggerated by French military to 295,000. Article 42 - Marching over Versailles Treaty, US presence at sigining. Locarno freely negotiated. No offensive weapons so as not to provoke French or concern British.
Remilitarisation of the Rhineland "The Watch on the Rhine," by Jerry Doyle The Philadelphia Record March 10, 1936 Balance This should focus on the reasons why the British Government chose to appease.